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NASU, SSANU agree to suspend nationwide strike

Non-academic staff of Nigerian universities have suspended their 3-week long nationwide strike.

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SSANU, NASU commenced strike today, as ASUU insists on industrial action

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of non-teaching staff unions of universities, which comprises Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU), has announced the suspension of its nationwide strike.

The unions said the end of their 3-week old nationwide strike would take effect from midnight of February 26.

This was disclosed by NASU General Secretary, Mr Peters Adeyemi, in a briefing with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, after a meeting was held with the FG.

“We have eight items which we negotiated and which form the basis for our ongoing national strike in the universities,” he said.

READ: ASUU insists on rejection of IPPIS, says some Professors get N8,000 as salary

He stated that the Joint Action Committee had held a meeting with the FG and both sides were satisfied with the outcome.

“We have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonised have been done to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development,” he said.

“We have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight, Friday, 26th February 2021.

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“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment on this struggle. This strike is hereby suspended,” he added.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, also said that the meeting was fruitful and disclosed that both sides had issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Memorandum of Action (MoA).

For Context : SSANU, NASU commenced strike today, as ASUU insists on industrial action

“Today’s deliberations have been very fruitful; we have also issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Memorandum of Action (MoA), and the two unions will get back to their members today and in good faith.

“So we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communications with their union members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us.

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“This is more so, as government is desirous that normal activities should return to the University system so that we can take the action one after the other,” the Minister said.

Ngige also said that the FG intended to go on a visitation panel as normalcy returned to the University system, citing it as one of the agreements which could not be carried out without normalcy in the university system.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the Senior Staff Association Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU) had announced that they would commence a strike action on the 5th of February, 2021, in a bid to get the FG to comply with their demands.

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Business

FG explains why Lagos-Ibadan rail line was not linked to the sea

The government in its explanation said that the delay was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

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FG needs $656 million to complete Lagos-Ibadan railway project – Amaechi, Nigeria loses N150 billion annually to shipping tariffs, Ibadan to Kano rail construction

The Federal Government has stated why the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited could not link the final part of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the sea.

The government in its explanation said that it was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

According to a press statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while on a routine tour of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

The Minister pointed out that the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project was not adhered to by CCECC Nigeria Limited and TEAM consortium and therefore warned that the master plan of the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano rail line project should not be changed.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.”

Amaechi forewarned that the master plan of the soon to commence project should not be changed as the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan wasn’t adhered to by Messrs CCECC Nigeria and TEAM consortium. The Minister who rode the train from Ebute-Meta to the 8.72 km Apapa Port Spur line, informed the media that the inability of Messrs CCECC Nigeria to link the final part of the rail line down to the sea is rather due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.’’

The Minister had noted that the Federal Government has paid its share of the counterpart funding of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project and is waiting for China-Exim bank to ratify its side of the agreement for the project to commence.

He also advised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to acquire more land around the train stations and the rail tracks for future development adding that this will be near impossible to do in the future as whatever space available now would have been taken over by businesses attracted to the rail line.

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In case you missed it

It can be recalled that full commercial train services commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line after train operations commenced on December 7, 2020, with only Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta residents enjoying the train services.

This is because other minor and major stations along that route were yet to be completed.

 

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Business

MTN USSD saga: Charging subscribers is appalling, unacceptable – Ogunbanjo

National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria has lamented the service charge of N6.98.

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Subscribers of Telecommunication services in Nigeria have said that the new Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service charge of N6.98 is appalling and unacceptable.

They insisted that the quarrel between the banks and the telecom operators should not be resolved by taxing subscribers. This came after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that USSD services for financial transactions would be charged at N6.98 per transaction.

This was disclosed by the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria, Deolu Ogunbanjo, who described the charge as a step back from financial inclusion.

READ: USSD service suspension: FG wades in, resolving issues between MTN and banks

In an interview, he described the development as unacceptable, saying that such a burden should not be placed on subscribers.

He said, “Everything in telecoms that’s meant to put a smile on subscribers’ faces is now being eroded. Why should they increase the USSD transaction fee? It’s appalling and condemnable, and we’ll take it up with them.”

Similarly, the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers also frowned at the new USSD service charge. The National President, Sina Bilesanmi, explained that the charge was unacceptable and must be rejected by every bank account holder.

READ: How Ebola, Covid-19 affected MTN, Glo & the Nigerian telecoms industry

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He said, “It is exploitative and this dictatorial act must stop forthwith. I am amazed that the same CBN that was initially opposed to the unjustified increase in USSD service charge in 2019 now made the announcement of the hike.

“If the Central Bank of Nigeria and telecommunication companies do not revert to the previous rate, we shall institute legal action against them.”

What you should know

  • The development could be attributed to threats by banks to withdraw the USSD services rendered to Telco subscribers due to an outstanding debt of over N42 billion.
  • Series of meetings held among MTN, commercial banks and FinTechs to align on longer-term pricing structures on USSD services appeared inconclusive, according to Nairametrics.
  • This was also confirmed by the Telco giant in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Funso Aina on Thursday. According to the statement, which was seen by Nairametrics, MTN stated that the streamlining it undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels.

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